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Antitrust in the Not-for-Profit Sector

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  • Tomas J. Philipson
  • Richard A. Posner

Abstract

Although the not-for-profit sector contributes greatly to aggregate output in many industries, there has been little explicit analysis of the economic consequences of applying antitrust policy in this sector. Despite the differences between for-profit and nonprofit firms stressed in conventional economic analyses, U.S. antitrust law generally does not distinguish between these two organizational forms. This paper argues that, under plausible assumptions and with possible exceptions, the same incentives to restrain trade exist in the nonprofit sector as in the for-profit sector. Altruistic firms benefit from exploiting market power, even when they would price below cost in the absence of competition. In fact, the efficiency gains from antitrust policy may often be larger for nonprofit firms. Therefore, a policy of promoting competition has social value even when producers' motivations are altruistic. The argument for uniform antitrust treatment of the two sectors extends to exemptions from antitrust law as well. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 52 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 1-18

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:1:p:1-18

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References

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  1. Frank A. Sloan & Gabriel A. Picone & Donald H. Taylor, Jr. & Shin-Yi Chou, 1998. "Hospital Ownership and Cost and Quality of Care: Is There a Dime's Worth of Difference?," NBER Working Papers 6706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Gaynor & William B. Vogt, . "Antitrust and Competition in Health Care Markets," GSIA Working Papers 1999-E29, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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  4. Dranove, David & Ludwick, Richard, 1999. "Competition and pricing by nonprofit hospitals: a reassessment of Lynk's analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 87-98, January.
  5. Martin Gaynor & William B Vogt, 2003. "Competition among Hospitals," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/087, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  6. Jacquemin, Alexis & Slade, Margaret E., 1989. "Cartels, collusion, and horizontal merger," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 415-473 Elsevier.
  7. Lakdawalla, Darius & Philipson, Tomas, 2006. "The nonprofit sector and industry performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1681-1698, September.
  8. Lynk, William J, 1995. "Nonprofit Hospital Mergers and the Exercise of Market Power," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 437-61, October.
  9. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Harrington & John M. Vernon, 2005. "Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 4th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 4, volume 1, number 026222075x, December.
  10. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark B. McClellan, 1999. "Is Hospital Competition Socially Wasteful?," NBER Working Papers 7266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Anup Malani & Tomas Philipson & Guy David, 2003. "Theories of Firm Behavior in the Nonprofit Sector. A Synthesis and Empirical Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: The Governance of Not-for-Profit Organizations, pages 181-216 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Dennis W. Carlton & Gustavo E. Bamberger & Roy J. Epstein, 1994. "Antitrust and Higher Education," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 107, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. Ordover, Janusz A. & Saloner, Garth, 1989. "Predation, monopolization, and antitrust," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 537-596 Elsevier.
  14. Keeler, Emmett B. & Melnick, Glenn & Zwanziger, Jack, 1999. "The changing effects of competition on non-profit and for-profit hospital pricing behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 69-86, January.
  15. John Simpson & Richard Shin, 1998. "Do Nonprofit Hospitals Exercise Market Power?," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 141-157.
  16. Lynk, William J. & Neumann, Lynette R., 1999. "Price and profit," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 99-116, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Johan Willner, 2010. "Public Options and Altruistic Firms - Antitrust Targets or Tools? The Welfare Impact of a Mixed Oligopoly With Managerial firms," Discussion Papers 59, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  2. Joseph Farrell & Paul Pautler & Michael Vita, 2009. "Economics at the FTC: Retrospective Merger Analysis with a Focus on Hospitals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 369-385, December.
  3. David Sappington & J. Sidak, 2003. "Incentives for Anticompetitive Behavior by Public Enterprises," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 183-206, May.
  4. Nikolaus Fink, 2011. "SSNIP, state-owned enterprises, public goods and complements," Empirica, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 381-388, July.
  5. Johan Willner, 2013. "The welfare impact of a managerial oligopoly with an altruistic firm," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 109(2), pages 97-115, June.
  6. Scharf, Kimberley, 2013. "Impure Prosocial Motivation in Charity Provision: Warm-Glow Charities and Implications for Public Funding," CEPR Discussion Papers 9749, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Lakdawalla, Darius & Philipson, Tomas, 2006. "The nonprofit sector and industry performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1681-1698, September.
  8. Hsu, Su-Ying & Lo, Chu-Ping & Wu, Shih-Jye, 2014. "The nexus of market concentration and privatization policy in mixed oligopoly," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 196-203.
  9. Francisco Marcos & Juan Santalo, 2007. "Tomb price discrimination in cemeteries: competition in the market for corpses?," Working Papers Economia wp07-09, Instituto de Empresa, Area of Economic Environment.
  10. Scharf, Kimberley, 2011. "Scale Scale Economies in Nonprofit Provision, Technology Adoption and Entry," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 45, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  11. Annika Herr, 2008. "Cost and technical efficiency of German hospitals: does ownership matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(9), pages 1057-1071.
  12. Katalin Katona & Marcel Canoy, 2013. "Welfare standards in hospital mergers," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 573-586, August.
  13. Annika Frohloff, 2007. "Cost and Technical Efficiency of German Hospitals – A Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 0002, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  14. repec:cge:warwcg:44 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Jill R. Horwitz & Austin Nichols, 2007. "What Do Nonprofits Maximize? Nonprofit Hospital Service Provision and Market Ownership Mix," NBER Working Papers 13246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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